watchOS 2.2 is now available for Apple Watch owners to download and install. The new update would be of very little interest to users, after knowing what watchOS 3 will be bringing to their devices: instant app launch, amongst many other features.
To download watchOS 2.2, follow the below steps:
- Make sure your Apple Watch is at least 50% charged and placed on the charging dock
- Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and go to Settings > General > Software Update to download and install the new release
watchOS 3 is the big deal that is available as a developer beta for now. The major feature in the update is performance improvement which means instant app launch and data loading. This has been Apple Watch owners’ biggest complaint and it is good to see that Apple has been able to fix it without requiring users to upgrade hardware.
What’s new in watchOS 3
- Improved app launch and data loading time. Your favorite apps will be kept in memory and will get background updates. So when you launch them, the information will already be up to date rather than making you wait for it to refresh.
- Side button can be used to access a ‘dock’ to quickly access favorite apps. The apps are now both glanceable and interactive.
- watchOS 3 now has a control center similar to iOS
- Message replies are improved. Icons show options to quick reply such as dictation, emojis etc and you can scroll down to see canned responses. A new feature called ‘scribble’ lets you write responses using finger touch.
- New Minnie Mouse watch face, with different color options.
- New Activity watch face in analog, chronograph and digital versions for fitness enthusiasts.
- New watch face called Numerals.
- Swipe on the home screen to switch between watch faces.
- Photos watch face now supports complications
- New apps: Reminders, Find Friends
- New SOS feature. Press and hold the side button to call 911 in emergency situations. Medical ID details will be shown on the watch after the SOS.
- Activities and workout app updates include activity sharing with friends. You can choose which information to share with your contacts.The app shows their activity rings and other details, similar to how you see your own information. You can also send messages to your contacts to challenge them or exchange smack talk. New features targeted towards wheelchair users.
- A new app called ‘Breathe’ to help destress and meditate through deep breathing.
watchOS 3 will be released this fall to the general public.
Apple also released iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6 and tvOS 2.2 to users today.